Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I'm impressed by how many pageviews this blog gets, considering that I've barely updated in the last couple months. Thanks for sticking with me, guys. I'm not going to promise to update again soon, because we all know it would probably be a lie, but I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm alive and well and I do want to pick up blogging again soon. I've just been a bit lethargic lately.

It's weird coming home after you've been in college for a while. I'm only an hour away, so I can come home whenever I want to, and I went last Thursday for an event and then went back to college on Sunday and came home again today. One of the first things I realized when I got here on Thursday was that my parents had stopped buying the foods only I ever ate. I hadn't realized I was the only one eating bread and peanut butter and milk. It was very odd and now I need to find new things to snack on.

Holy cow, I just realized it's two days past this blog's third anniversary. Wow! *throws confetti*

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Why You Should Read Coffee Cake (and Beignets)

Folks, let me tell you about one of my favorite books, Coffee Cake. It's written by the fabulous Michaela Grey and it's pretty damn great.

Coffee Cake is a nifty little romance that started out as a Supernatural fan fiction featuring Sam and Gabriel. Even as a fanfic, it was really, really good. I never got to read it on AO3, but I did read the sequel there before it got taken down for publication.

I'm just going to put the back cover description here:

"Bran Kendrick never expected to fall in love. He’s asexual, after all. What chance does he have of finding someone who’ll see past that? So when Malachi Warren catches his eye, Bran tells himself his crush will pass. Malachi disagrees. He has been attracted to Bran for some time, something he is delighted to find Bran reciprocating. They begin to date and feel their way through an intimate relationship that meets both their needs.
Suddenly Bran finds himself juggling a new boyfriend, a demanding job, and a college degree he’s not sure he wants, but he couldn’t be happier―until a series of seemingly random accidents befall Malachi. When they escalate, Bran realizes someone is trying to take away the best thing that ever happened to him, and he must scramble to keep Malachi safe while they search for the would-be killer."

I think my favorite thing about this book would be the characters. Bran is longsuffering, warm, sweet, and very real. I've started to identify with him more since I began college, actually. And Malachi is wonderful. He's a prankster with some serious self-esteem issues and I love him so damn much.

Coffee Cake does have some flaws. At times it verges on melodramatic, especially in a few particular scenes with Malachi. Personally, I feel that Bran and Malachi fall for each other unrealistically quickly, but I do tend to favor drawn-out romances myself, so there's that. (Besides, it's not like I have enough experience to know what qualifies as realistic.)

Even though Bran is asexual, there are some intense--and very well-written--sex scenes. They're easy to skip if you're not into that, but if you are, well, have fun.

To be honest, though, I actually like the sequel to Coffee Cake better than Coffee Cake itself. It switches to Malachi's point of view and chronicles Bran and Malachi dealing with the events of Coffee Cake and moving to a new location, which offers some interesting narrative opportunities. It deals well with subjects such as trauma, grief and recovery, and it introduces a couple of new characters whom I absolutely adore. Maybe it was because I read Beignets first (there was a time when Beignets was available on AO3 while Coffee Cake was about to be published, which happened to be when I found the author), but the conflict felt more real to me. So if Coffee Cake doesn't quite hit the spot for you, you should definitely still read Beignets, because it's awesome.

I don't really have a particular reason for doing this review, except that I happened to be thinking about it right now. Coffee Cake and Beignets are published by Dreamspinner Press in ebook and print format. I think you can get them on Amazon too.

See you soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sometimes it's the little things that make you feel good. For instance, the beautiful lady behind the register where I just got dinner who kept calling me "sweetheart" and gave me extra fries when the latch on my sustainable box turned out to be broken, and the lovely woman at the salad bar who remembered me from this afternoon and asked if I'd found the token for the sustainable box exchange thing (I did; it was in my bag. Typical me.). I feel very loved. :)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Best of Rowan's Writing

I was going through an old piece of writing the other day and I found a really good line, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite lines that I've ever written.

Agatha Clearwater was a chubby, pretty witch, with dark skin and a round face and lovely curly hair. Her hair was never its natural black, for she liked to bleach it and enchant it bright colors--green or blue or pink, whatever she liked best on the day. She wore enough makeup to keep a cosmetician in business for a year--thick black eyeliner, bright shimmery eyeshadow, and thick lipstick that she coordinated to set off her brown skin nicely. She looked, Minerva thought privately, like a fairy godmother who had fallen on hard times and found employment in a brothel.

(In this scene, Wilhelm, a minion, is discussing her two fellow minions with mad scientist Professor Xix.)
Wilhelm set the kettle on the stove and turned back to Xix. “May I ask you something?”
            “Where did Nina and Gormless come from?”

            Xix took a sip of whatever was in his mug and cleared his throat. “Well, Wilhelm, when a mad scientist wants a minion very much, he digs up a body and…”

Hera sighed and crossed her arms. “Where do I even start? Well, Zeus, maybe this marriage would actually work if you weren’t such a cheating scumbag who always—”
            “I’m going to have to stop you there,” interjected Nigel, raising his hands. “Let’s try to avoid the blaming, all right?”
            Hera rolled her eyes. “All right. You’re a cheating scumbag, Zeus.”
            “Use ‘I’ statements.”
            “I think you’re a cheating scumbag, Zeus.”
             “Let’s focus on how you feel,” said the therapist. “Get out of your head and into your heart. Try to sense the ember of love that still exists between you. How do you feel, Hera?”
            “I feel like you’re a cheating scumbag, Zeus.”

Zeus' eyebrows had just about disappeared into his hairline as he surveyed the scene before him.
            “I-It’s not what it looks like!” stammered Apollo, his face going bright red. He was acutely aware of Loki’s body pressed closely against his own.
            “Oh, no, it’s not,” said Loki fervently. “By the time it gets to be what it looks like, it’ll look much worse.”
“She’s always in her stress zone,” grumbled Zeus. “That’s the whole problem. She’s got a pole the size of Poseidon’s triton jammed up her ass.”

Uta caught a whiff of strong mead. “You’re drunk.”
            “Me?” Loki waved the notion away. “I assure you, my friend, I am sone stold cober. I just needed…the company of marmots.”
            “What are marmots?”
            “Little weaselly things.” Loki gestured aimlessly. “You won’t have seen one. They don’t live around here. Stupid marmots.” 
(this was from a story that go scrapped entirely, but I liked this exchange)


            “Hmm.” Igor frowned. “I’ll write Xix and ask about it. It could be nothing, or it could be a big tentacled monster with eighteen eyes and poison pincers. You just never know with mad scientists.”

Anyway, thought I'd share that. Cheers! See you soon :)